>> We totally approve of slumming it in style. Especially when done by millionaires.
Accompanied by the lovely Pinky, Vijay Mallya dropped into the Nore Take shop at Napean Sea road to buy a dinner set.
Not only were the famous Japanese sets produced in Sri Lanka, we are informed that when offered a choice between the Rs 27,000, 32,000 and 72,000 sets, VJM picked the cheapest thirty-six-person-server. Less is more we have always believed. And given the way things are going perhaps other high rollers will follow suit!
Vasu in Mumbai
>> She was in Mumbai recently hosted by her party colleague Shaina NC to make friends and influence people as a run up to the 2014 elections, but of course, erstwhile Gwalior princess and BJP poster girl Vasundhara Raje is no stranger to Mumbai. She grew up at the Gwalior Palace opposite Haji Ali (now the location of the Samudra Mahal) when she was not away in boarding school in Kodaikanal. But Raje, said to be in line for a serious portfolio if the BJP is successful in 2014, had other more pleasant things in mind than mere politics: her 60th birthday celebrations, held in Delhi, brought in amongst friends and party colleagues in great style and customary pomp. Incidentally, Raje shares her birthday month with her late brother, the charismatic Madhav Rao Scindia — and according to people who know the family well, resembles him most closely amongst the family. “She shares his quick intellect, his talent for hard work and political insight and his commitment to his people.”
Jaggi Vasudev’s celebration
>> If various people are walking on air with a look of ecstasy in their eyes put it down to their attendance at the Maha Shivratri celebrations at Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Ashram in Coimbatore. As exceptional as the night-long singing, dancing, twirling and chanting was the guest list that included danseuse Anita Ratnam, internationally acclaimed film maker Shekhar Kapur, writer of Across the Universe and music producer Ian La Frenais, fashion writer Namrata Zakaria and a host of others. “Just back from a sleepless but magnificent night of celebration, whirling and transforming Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev’s mythological interpretations on stage with 12 dancers at the Isha Mahashivratri. What a night! Spectacular,” said Ratnam.
The passing of a titan
>> Our condolences to the Shah family for the loss of family patriarch Viren Shah over the weekend. A larger-than-life character in contemporary Indian life, Shah was one of the first industrialists to enter the rough and ready world of politics and was unafraid to take on causes that he believed in and to speak his mind. His feisty opposition to the Emergency and fight for civil rights during that period will never be forgotten. However, it’s for another reason that we admire the late industrialist: he had a great sense of humour, an easy wit and best of all, the ability to laugh at himself, always the hallmark of a sophisticated and confident man. We recall how with great pride he would recount the story about how Dhirubhai Ambani, newly returned from Aden and with dreams of setting up a company, approached him, then one of the city’s big establishment business leaders for seed capital. “It took me no more than five minutes to say no,” he used to say, laughing at his own act of historic misjudgment. With his passing, one more piece of the fascinating mosaic that makes up urbane cosmopolitan and sophisticated Mumbai is lost.
>> And whereas we were MIA for the Steven Spielberg’s sortie in Mumbai we overheard this wonderful exchange at the Sassy Spoon, which is fast becoming the hip new watering hole of the movers and shakes of the city. Said one high roller to the other: “Let me shake your hand. After all you’ve just shaken the hand of Steven Spielberg!” And if this were a script, the director’s note would add: spoken with a hint of sarcasm.
>> We shared our birth date yesterday with two — make that three very important media personalities: TOI’s Samir Jain, News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch and his right hand man who has handled some of his key portfolios, Robert Thomson, current managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. We have always been curious about astrology since it claims that people born on the same days and months share an affinity. But what on earth do we share with these three titans? Having met all three of them, we seriously are beginning to doubt the wonderful Linda Goodman and all her pronouncements. But Samir, Rupert, Robert and ourselves?
Mumbai’s best home
>> Amongst a certain set in Mumbai the title for ‘most beautiful home in Mumbai’ is an intensely debated one. Undoubtedly, for the last 20 years the title belonged to Parmeshwar Godrej’s spectacular digs in Juhu with their white stucco cascading fountains and mammoth sculptures. Then without much fuss the title went to the Ambanis and their home Antillia. To get to see it became one more Rubicon in the circles that matter. But now, both homes have serious competition. Kavita and Jasjit Singh’s 55,000 square foot mansion near Shah Rukh’s Mannat at Bandra Bandstand. Opened with a pooja recently for friends and family, it’s already being spoken about in hushed terms. “It’s probably one of the most beautiful hones in the world,” says our source, adding, “And the pooja room! It takes one’s breath away with its spectacular ceiling Ganesha statues and jharokas from the South.” Kavita, who has decorated the homes of some of the biggest names in the country and whose style is best described as a post modern Sunita Pittamber’s is said to be on the verge of opening a store soon where lesser beings will be able to get the look.